Yesterday, the Senate started hearing the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN Corp. The network apologized to President Duterte for airing an advertisement that seems to criticize him, and for not airing his political ads during the 2016 presidential election.
The President and CEO of ABS-CBN, Carlo Katigbak, explained to the senate committee why the network felt to air an anti-Duterte ad wherein it featured children questioning his profane words.
Moreover, Katigbak also explained why the media network failed to air ad promotions of Duterte for his presidential candidacy.
First-come, first-serve policy of ABS-CBN
The Chief Executive of the network defended its stand for failing to air ads of Duterte.
He said that the presidential candidate Duterte then placed P65 million worth of provincial or regional ads but the network failed to air some amounting to P7 million.
According to him, the network has a first-come, first-served policy. Spots for his ads were ordered on May 3, four days before the last day of the campaign period. This caused the failure to air the ads since spots were taken already.
Katigbak also said that ABS-CBN refunded P4 million. The amount was accepted by Duterte, however, the remaining P2.6 million delayed refund was not accepted anymore.
“On this issue, I think we acknowledge our shortcomings in our failure to release that refund in a timely manner and we corrected that,” the network executive said. He noted that the network implemented a policy of returning a check if the ad was not aired in seven days last 2019 election.
Malacañang is ‘glad’
“[W]e were sorry if we offended the President. That was not the intention of the network. We felt we were just abiding by the laws and regulations that surround the airing of political ads,” Katigbak said.
He added that ABS-CBN “does not have and will not have its own political agenda.”
According to Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the decision of accepting the apology is still up to the President. However, the Palace is “glad” that finally, ABS-CBN admitted its negligence.
He also noted on a held press briefing on Monday that ABS-CBN should have long apologized to President Duterte even before he let out his “displeasure” at the media network.
“If you are bad to the President, he would be worse to you. If you are kind to the President, he would be kinder to you,” said Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go at the hearing. It’s known to everyone that Duterte’s aide turned to senator keeps his close contact with the president.
Katigbak acknowledged the network’s shortcomings in connection with the President’s concerns. However, he firmly said that the ABS-CBN franchise did not violate any law.